Christopher Gillen was performing a piece of performance art entitled ‘A Thousand and One Kisses’ when he was approached by a member of Belfast City Council.
This performance involved writing the word “love” in coloured chalk throughout the city centre in order to create a “rainbow of love” particularly aimed at highlighting of treatment of LGBT rights and marriage equality.
Katie McAlister, of Madden & Finucane Solicitors, said:
“The decision now made by Belfast City Council is correct and just in the context of our client expressing his views and raising awareness of LGBT rights through the medium of performance art.
“Mr. Gillen is understandably delighted with this outcome of this case.”
Mr. Gillen had previously participated in a similar act of performance art 12 years ago when he inscribed the name of more than 3,672 victims of the Troubles around City Hall in chalk.
After correspondence was sent from Madden & Finucane solictors to Belfast City Council, the Council have now agreed to waive this Fixed Penalty Notice.
The artist publicly protested the charges by using 6000 pennies to spell ‘Love’ on the pavement in the same spot where he received the fine.
A spokesperson for Unison, Nathalie Donnelly said, “In a city that is plagued by hate, to fine someone for writing ‘love’ on the pavement is just totally ridiculous.” She continued “this was clearly a homophobic gesture” as it is common to find messages written in chalk on the pavement around Belfast City Centre and it appears no one else has been handed a fine.